Velvet Sea

February 20, 2014

Pacific Weddings

The White Orchid Beach House on Maui’s most breathtaking shore is a heavenly oasis with “Old Hawaii” charm. The private estate, with its expansive oceanfront lawn framed by black lava, is a fitting scene for a wedding reception inspired by the curiosities of the sea. The element of surprise in the tropical setting of yesteryear is velvet, a wintery and sophisticated fabric selected for its wonderful sheen and depth of color. As timeless as the wedding itself, bespoke velvets were once a royal status symbol worn centuries ago by nobility and high society. During the renaissance, the luxurious woven silk textile was an expression of power, wealth and taste, subtly hinting at one’s family history.


In this innocent wedding bouquet, Fong Tagawa mixed pale blush peonies with Lamb's Ear and verbascum leaves, tied in black velvet Midori ribbon

Boasting a muted palette, the ocean-laden tablescape is a testament to the luxury of simplicity. At first glance, the antique-ivory French farm table belies its extraordinary details. A pale pistachio velvet runner grounds the wooden table. The ubiquitous hue is reminiscent of the Paris baker Ladurée’s most revered macarons. Spanning the length of the table are age-old tarnished brass vessels brimming withunusual blossoms: apricot parrot tulips, Sarah Bernhardt blush peonies, “work stem” gardenias and yellow cockscombs. Honolulu florist Fong Tagawa of Floral Inspirations incorporated the velvety Stachys byzantina flower, commonly-known as Lamb’s Ear, into the arrangements.

A pair of sparkling crystal chandeliers stands at eye level framing the table for the ultimate in Old World elegance. A European velvet bench is tucked aside the farm table for dinner. Hand-carved oak French dining chairs display the elegant restraint emblematic of neoclassicism.

The bride holds a velvet greeting card, hand-debossed on a 19th-century press by Velvet Raptor.


Dinner menus written in ornate script sit at each place setting atop driftwood chargers and cream plates. Antique Sheffield Silver and bone flatware are gently tied with a luxurious French silk ribbon by Sara Kate Studios. Place cards by stationer Ceci New York rest in delicate sea urchins, a natural shade of the palest pink, available at Beachy Chic Decor. A glass botanist's bell jar houses an exotic magnolia branch.

An antique tufted velvet fainting couch by Signature Boutique Event Rentals provides lounging on the ocean front lawn. An adorable flower girl wears a whimsical crown of fresh blooms by Mandy Grace. Her silk linen shoes by Bébé Shooz feature velvet fabric flowers.

The bride and her maid look ethereal in WHITE by Vera Wang Collection.

Ceci New York specializes in exquisite letterpress stationery, melding modern graphic design with a traditional printing method. She designed a pale mint velvet box that contains a silver engraved paper weight to serve as both save-the-date and precious keepsake, announcing a quite regal affair. Ceci New York’s wedding invitation is lined in a plush velvet fabric. A sweet gold-tipped sulu shell holds precious trinkets safe inside.

Smiling brightly, a tiny flower girl wears a crochet Vindie Baby dress, her winsome hair tucked beneath a pink velvet bonnet by Starlite’s Child.

The sheer long sleeve frock appears as second-skin with feminine ruffles and a crystal-laden bodice.

Jordan displays a lovely centerpiece of lush peonies mixed with velvety verbascum leaves and jasmine vine that appears as if it were picked fresh out of the garden.

Fong Tagawa’s pastel confection is the epitome of tropical elegance. Her bouquet of fragrant gardenias is punctuated with pink fan-shaped scallop shells and tied in rose silk velvet ribbon by Sara Kate Studios.

The bride stands beneath a spectacular rustic chuppah created by Signature Boutique Event Rentals. A rich taupe velvet curtain adorns the structure. Florist Fong Tagawa embellishes the arbor with plush verbascum leaves, magnolia branches and jasmine vines.

Translucent antique bottles are capped with sea shells plucked from the shoreline. Large coral sea fans reinforce the ocean theme.

The bride is a vision to behold in an exquisite Reem Acra nude gown from the designer’s Resort 2013 Collection.

A brass urn is overflowing with vibrant apricot parrot tulips. Tarnished brass taper candles are utterly romantic.

The bride is fashion-forward donning a rhinestone adorned bandeau birdcage veil by Twigs & Honey.

An antique brass garment rack displays chic wedding gowns by Monique Lhuillier and a darling vintage flower girl
dress. Artist and collector Mickey Eskimo found the stunning antique in a Paris flea market.